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Alumni briefs: Chavis ’87, Crawford ’77, Huitron ’10, Janssen ’93, Messinger ’96 and ’99, Pfirrmann-Powell ’08, Trout ’02

Annie McCullough Chavis, Ed.D, MSW ’87, a professor in the Department of Social Work at Fayetteville State University (FSU), has been named a 2015 recipient University of North Carolina Board of Governors Award for Excellence in Teaching. She will be honored at FSU’s 148th Spring Commencement on May 9 and will receive a $12,500 stipend and a bronze medallion. In addition her teaching duties at FSU, Chavis is actively involved in the university and community. Her research interests include culturally competent pioneering work concerning genograms as well as African American families, family social work practice, cultural competency in social work practice, school social work, and African-American teaching.

William Crawford, MSW ’77, a 1966 graduate of Pfeiffer College (now University), is one of several Pfeiffer graduates whose work was included in the spring issue of the university’s literary journal, The Phoenix. His photograph was chosen for the cover—and others appear inside in addition to a work of nonfiction. An interview with Crawford appears on the journal’s website.

Scott Janssen, MSW ’93,  has spoken nationally and published widely on issues related to social work practice with clients at the end of life.  He is an editorial advisor for,  and frequent contributor to, the magazine Social Work Today and he recently published his first novel, Light Keepers, an adventure set along the N.C. coast in the aftermath of the Civil War.

Lori Messinger, MSW ’96, Ph.D. ’99, was named Associate Vice Chancellor for External Programs (AVCEP) at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. The AVCEP is “a member of Academic Affairs’ senior staff, providing leadership, management, and support to an array of programs, offices, and partnerships that connect the talent and resources of the university to the interests and needs of the broader community. This position will serve as the point of contact for issues related to off-campus academic engagements and will collaborate with numerous on- and off-campus partners.” Messinger has been a professor and director of the School of Social Work at UNC-Wilmington since 2011.

Kimberly Pfirrmann-Powell, MSW ’08, served in the Peace Corps after graduating. She and her husband and moved to sub-Saharan Africa and lived for two years in a small village in Benin. She worked closely with the “county” level social worker there and started an apprenticeship program for orphan girls, advocating for infants whose mothers had died, training-the-trainer with mothers in a rural village, and encouraging girls to stay in school. Upon returning to the States, they both started working for the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and recently, she transitioned to the Bureau of International Labor Affairs. Now she gets to work on projects dealing with international labor standards, which was her capstone project seven years ago (comparing labor standards between the U.S., Bangladesh and Sweden).